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Monday, September 13, 2010

God's Spirit Poured Upon Us

Does anyone hear from God anymore?

I find myself among a group of preachers. They have all bought the same books. They have all gone to the same conferences. They are all at different churches in different towns. They all think they are going to create the next Saddleback or Willow Creek church. None of them even resembles Rick Warren or Bill Hybels. Yet, they say that this is the vision God has given them.

What a crock!

There is no place in the Bible where God says, “I am going to do something great with you. All you have to do is copy what other great people have done.” God talks to people individually. He works with them individually. He doesn’t merely copy what He has done before.

Yes, there are commands that each of us must obey. We are to be witnesses. We are to love one another. We are to worship God alone. These are some of the commands that apply to every person but God speaks specifically and individually to us when He seeks to do something through us. We have no model to follow.

Joshua sees the walls of a great city fall without having a pattern to follow. Moses sees the sea split open. Elijah prays and fire falls from heaven. None of these acts had precedence. Each of these people heard from God and did what He said. It took great faith. Maybe that’s what we lack in hearing God today.

In the Old Testament kings would go to prophets to know what God was saying. God said that He would pour out His Spirit on all believers after the resurrection of Jesus. This seems to be the pattern that many preachers have returned to. They look for a prophet who tells them what they should do. They genuinely believe this is God’s word for them. They fail to remember that things are different now.

The Holy Spirit does not come and go for us. We should be able to hear from God if we will seek Him. Would we rather copy something that has been done before or seek what God wants us to do? Copying someone else’s work appears more secure. However, following God is the most secure avenue. In the first we must depend upon our own ability to mimic the actions of another. Following God requires we remain close to Him and do what He says when He says it.

God speaks to each of His children if they will listen. He calls them to come to Him. He tells them how to do what they must do. He gives them a vision beyond what they can hear in a conference or what they will read from others who have done great things.

Individuals must listen to Him and do what He says. I find they walk out of church without doing what God calls them to do. I find that they I find that they are taking the easy road. They may buy books on how to raise their children but they fail to ask God what they should do. They have watched the video on making their marriages fireproof but they fail to ask God what they should do.

This doesn’t mean that people should stop going to conferences or reading. These may be one of the ways that God speaks to you. It may be that you learn something about yourself or God may actually speak to you as you attend or read. However, you cannot assume that doing everything the conference or book says will bring you to God’s vision for your life. You must listen yourself.

God has something to say to us today.

God’s Spirit in us means we can hear from Him now.

Joel 2:28 (ESV)
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

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